J&K ‘routine’ order on Eid eve banning animal slaughter kicks up a storm
Manjil Das, INN/Chennai
The Jammu and Kashmir authorities requested that the killing for religious sacrifice of cows, calves, camels, and other animals be stopped immediately before Eid-ul-Azha, and that action against the perpetrators be threatened. This message caused social media protests and religious authorities to react, however after a communication of the Animal Welfare Board of India, the official issuing this order stated it was a regular practise.
However, the amalgam of religious groups, Muttahida Majlis Ulema (MMU), stated that it constituted government “intervention in religious affairs.” This weekend, the organisation organised a meeting to take action. The edict was seen as an animal sacrifice prohibition instruction, a ritual on the eve of Eid-ul-Azha. On 21 July, Eid will be held.
There is now no legislation under J&K prohibiting animal sacrifice for religious purposes, as the Ranbir Penal Code, Section 298, prohibiting the slaughter of cow in J&K, was abolished once J&K was removed from its unique status and the State declared to be two Union territories. As the topic of the letter sent by the Department of Animal, sheep and fishing, the regulations on Bakra Eid were ‘stop illegal killing/sacrificing of cows/calves, camels and other animals and take punishment against offenders for breaching transport of animals.’
Currently in house arrest, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, MMU head has called the Order a violation of religious rights and freedom. On Sunday, the Ulema held a meeting to address the issue and communicate its verdict to the public. “Such arbitrary and discriminatory decree should immediately be revoked by government,” stated an MMU statement.